A freshman that fits, for real this time


Yesterday, I wrote about DePaul’s Brandon Young. You see, Young had scored 17 and 31 points, respectively, in wins over Northern Illinois and Central Michigan.

He was the leading freshman scorer in the Big East, and his 31 points were the most by a freshman this season.

So what happened last night?

DePaul got run out of the gym by Indiana State 73-51. Young finished with just five points. Obviously this was going to happen. I can’t get anything right.

That doesn’t mean I am going to stop trying, though, because there is another newcomer putting up big numbers and getting no attention. His name is Faisal Aden, and he is a JuCo transfer and a native of Somalia playing for Washington State.

He’s also a huge reason why the Cougars look like they might be able to compete for the Pac-10 crown this season. With Reggie Moore back in the lineup for Wazzu, Aden is relegated to bench duty, but there may not be a more potent scorer coming off the bench in the country. After putting up 14 points in the Cougar’s 81-59 win over Gonzaga on Wednesday night, Aden is averaging 18.0 ppg and shooting a robust 39.5% from three. He’s already gone for 28 against Fresno State, 26 against Idaho, and 21 against Portland.

Don’t sleep on Wazzu this season. After their demolition of Gonzaga, the Cougars are 6-1. Their lone loss is to Kansas State by only five. Head coach Ken Bone has this team playing terrific on the defensive end — they held Gonzaga scoreless for the first eight minutes, and got up 27-0 on Sacramento State earlier this year — but they are pretty scary offensively. We all know about Klay Thompson and his scoring ability, but he is sharing a back court with a penetrator and creator in Reggie Moore and Aden, another big time scoring threat.

Throw big man DeAngelo Casto into the mix along with capable role players like Marcus Capers, Patrick Simon, and Brock Motum, and this is a team that is going to sneak up on some people.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.